Bheed movie review: Anubhav Sinha yet again proves his mettle with a stinging social commentary

Bheed movie review: Anubhav Sinha yet again proves his mettle with a stinging social commentary

Bheed movie review: Anubhav Sinha yet again proves his mettle with a stinging social commentary

What: Bheed - Anubhav Sinha’s latest film is not exactly about the woes of the lockdown, but an incisive gaze at humanity that came under its grips.

Bheed movie review

23rd March 2020. The onset of the COVID Pandemic gripped the entire nation. The country was clutched under a massive lockdown. The medical infrastructure was under the verge of collapse, inter-state travels were completely restricted, shops were shut, and the economy took a gigantic hit. Anubhav Sinha’s latest film Bheed is not exactly about the woes of the lockdown , but an incisive gaze at humanity that came under its grips. He examines the unprecedented mass migration of the labourers and worker class in the outskirts of the national capital. who were forced to leave for their homes when they were rendered jobless.

The film opens with a shocking incident that sets a precursor to the darkest times to unfold on the screen – 23 migrants were run over by a fast-moving train when they were sleeping on the rail tracks.The frame shifts to a large crowd of people swarming on to trucks and buses,  fighting hard to get a seat and waiting to get deported. These are the people, who when bound together by a jute like thing, form a society and when they are split, they are a divided crowd. Sinha looks at these divisions created by casteism and social discrimination with a seething and blunt honesty. He doesn’t fabricate his story with any colors.

The film is completely shot in Black and White as a reminder to the ‘darkest’ times the human race ever witnessed (Caution: I am discounting any metaphorical interpretations)

Hundreds of homebound migrants are stranded at a check post (CP) near to a non-functional mall when barricades are imposed by the police to restrict cross-border travel as per government’s mandates. The film’s protagonist, police officer Surya Kumar Singh (played by the brilliant Rajkummar Rao) who happens to be the CP’s in-charge, must obey the orders of his superior, played by the immensely talented Ashutosh Rana to keep everything under control. But with little sources to help the ailing and hunger-stricken travellers which include potential covid patients and children, things go awry and leads to agitation helmed by one of the heads from the migrants, Trivedi (Pankaj Kapoor). Inflicted with personal chaos, Surya mustn’t only deal with Trivedi cleverly who has trespassed with his men into the mall in desperate search for food but also with a clash of ideas with his girlfriend and doctor at the same site, Renu Sharma (Bhumi Pednekar), a cognizant media person Vidhi(Kritika Kamra) and the system soaked in apathy towards the populace.

“We are a sick society”, the cameraman with Vidhi poked her when he observes the hundreds of the hapless migrants , whom we have systemically made a source of cheap labour. Yes, we are sick. But when we stick to each other in such grave scenarios, we become incredible. Sinha drives home this point by deftly staging tension in a sprawling barren land with an ominous music (music by Anurag Saikia) and meaningful folk songs.

Like his previous films, Bheed also emerges as a stinging social commentary that resonates with Surya’s dilemma and complex that finds its roots in his ‘lower-class’ lineage. In one of the tender moments with Renu after making out, he confesses that his hands tremble with fear while touching her as he belongs to upper class only to be tipped that he just blows off her mind when not overthinking. A charismatic actor like Rao could only unravel the depths of Surya’s troubled mental space. Watch him at the scene where he reveals his surname as ‘Tikas’ with an antics that stays in your mind. Bhumi Pednekar inhabits the milieu with an unmistakable comfort and a lingo that she has honed over the years, playing the semi-urban lady. Sinha observes several other strands and implants nuances to convey his point. A daughter must help his drunkard father (Manik of ‘Peepli Live’ fame) in her bicycle to the nearest rehab centre. An affluent, divorced woman (Dia Mirza) who must reach her daughter’s hostel before her father arrives there is given a taste of conscience by her driver (Sushil Pandey, in a small but impactful part).

But the most touching one is offered by the veteran Pankaj Kapoor, who by himself is a vanguard of caste divide, falls a prey to the extraordinary situation. Notice the facial disgust when he sees a group of Muslim folks behind his vehicle. Masks and social distancing become things of lesser priority before the ingrained stigmas. Kapoor makes Trivedi’s vulnerability and desperation palpable.


Bheed - Final Words

Bheed is a film not be missed at all. If you are a lover of cinema which is stark, real and probing then Bheed should be in your bucket list. Going with 4.5 stars out of 5 for Bheed.


Rating : 4.5/5

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About Ahwaan Padhee

Ahwaan Padhee

Ahwaan Padhee, is an IT Techie/Business Consultant by profession and a film critic/cinephile by passion, is also associated with Radio Playback as well, loves writing and conducting movie quizzes. More By Ahwaan Padhee

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